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April 2018 Class Updates

Jennifer Stewart | Brevard, NC

The Otters are exploring the colors of nature on campus, such as the butter colored daffodils and the purple sprouting violets. Annie and Morgan are teaching the kids to play wiffle ball and soccer. They are making dirt tracks with cars, and pretending to be superheroes wearing colored scarves for capes. They went to a program at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife called Nature Nuts that focused on owls. They also have enjoyed the programs of Mrs. Stephanie Bradley, who has taught them to compare wild vs. domestic animals and all about black bears.

The Owl class enjoyed counting down on the calendar to the first day of Spring. They, along with the Otters, enjoyed Stephanie Bradley of the Wild Learning Project, teaching about animals. They attended a field trip to ArtLab with a focus on their latest artist in the series, Clementine Hunter. The other famous art in the classroom is Botticelli’s Primavera. The children enjoyed pointing out Cupid, Venus, and Mercury from the Roman Myths. They are using the Montessori materials called Short Chains (or Square Chains) to learn counting, skip counting, squaring, and multiplication. Kim Skeen coordinated with Lauren Daniel from Project Wet to visit and teach about the importance of water.

The Acorns have been working hard to build the outdoor areas adjacent the classrooms into “child centered play and discovery areas.” Thanks to Janna (and the support of her spouse) they have added “rock riverbeds,” seating, lattice, raised beds, and have plans for musical instruments, gardening equipment, and “leap-frog logs”. Gretchen Hogan (Cedar’s mom) came in to help get moving on planting and gardening. The Acorns carried heavy bags of soil, moved the planting mix, placed the planters, created small seedling planters, and joyfully filled all the empties with soil. They recently went to the NC Arboretum. They are beginning animal studies and learning about adaptations and life cycles of particular creatures.

The Monarch class trip to Congaree National Park involved camping, hiking, and canoeing. The students worked hard to prepare for the trip and learn about this beautiful park in SC. Prior to this, the class took a trip to the NC Arboretum to study about classifications of the animal kingdom. They learned about arthropods—the largest and most diverse phylum in the animal kingdom. They learned to use a compound microscope to examine some microscopic animals. They also examined some animal and plant cells. They will be creating models to highlight the differences between the two. They will soon begin their study of the plant kingdom.

The Coyotes planned and executed their fundraising event, “The Coyote Escape Room.” The students planned out a scenario with a mystery to solve and invited community members to test their wits. The students are hard at work on science fair projects. They are reading and discussing To Kill a Mockingbird. Daniel says, “As we tie our poetry unit [George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From] and the Democracy Project together, the Coyotes are being challenged to ask themselves, How does my history make me who I am today?” Their math concepts at the various grade levels include complex fractions, scientific notation, and polynomials.

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